Cleaning the closet during a down time is cathartic and a workout all its own. I looked at the piled up mess in the basement storage room and was reduced to sighs and a sense of impending doom. Never have I let my belongings over take such a space as I had these last few years. We haven’t moved since 2005 and our build up of clutter is apparent. I am ashamed to accumulate this much stuff… and I know it’s not all mine, but that of 3 or 4 other family members who hang onto old clothes, weird relics and undefinable objects “just in case.” And I sigh again…
But here’s the thing… and I know I can’t directly relate all of my recent growth experiences to triathlon training, but I looked at a shelf and decided to work on sorting through and clearing out that one little area. Then onto the next shelf, and so on…The experience is very similar to looking at the 17 pages of work out material my coach just sent me for winter training and remembering that he doesn’t expect me to do it all in one day. Or that I do each triathlon as a series of 3 events with two transitions.. but one at a time…not all five segments at once. Obvious, I know, but it’s taken me a long time to get a handle on “slow and steady”. Gosh, I think back to when the kids were little and I tried to get EVERYTHING done in one day, just because… you know, I must “clean all the things” ( see blogger Allie Brosh’s post in her blog Hyperbole and a half .) In the past I have been hyper and completely consumed by multi tasks and my ability to go hard for 11 or 12 hours in order to finish what I started. Really – get-outta-my-way-or-you-will-get-run-over-by-me kind of thinking. I’m mellow these days. Let’s blame triathlon for that.
So last night, as I continue my break from Type A, perfectionist, triathlon training, I cleaned a storage room. That’s how I relax. I pushed heavy boxes across the floor, emptied them out and sorted their contents. I piled up bulky arm loads of old coats and dresses for shipping off to good will. Looked at boxes of fabric and curtains and table cloths that I’ll never use. And I stopped to look at some pictures of my first born, now newly married.
I’m half way to being finished sorting this mess. I will take my time and enjoy good feelings and try to remember why I saved all these things in the first place. Then they will be given away to be stored and used (or not) by someone else.